back to article Blighty gets gold-dispensing ATM

The UK's first gold-dispensing ATM machine has been installed at Westfield shopping centre in London. The Gold to Go hole-in-the-wall was unveiled today at London's biggest shopping centre, where it will dispense various sizes of 24-carat gold coins and bars. The machine also updates the prices every ten minutes, keeping the …


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  1. Colin Miller
    Thumb Down

    Yeah Gods

    That is one tacky looking cabinet.

  2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Someone is raking it in big time..

    No gold is at an all time high its most likely path is downwards.

    I can't help wondering if this Gordon Brown's personal pension plan given that he sold the UK's gold reserved at what is universally acknowledged as the worst possible moment. If someone bought that up in collusion you're looking at probably the most elaborate heist ever..

    But hey, conspiracy theories are easily created..

    1. Buzzword

      Not necessarily

      Gold is around its all-time high now.... but you could have said the same when it was at $800/oz, $900, $1000, etc. all the way up to $1,500 where it is now. There's no obvious reason why it shouldn't go any higher or lower from here - there's only what the market decides (and the market rarely seems to follow reason).

      1. Cliff

        Re: Not Necessarily

        "Gold is around its all-time high now.... but you could have said the same when it was at $800/oz, $900, $1000, etc. all the way up to $1,500 where it is now."

        Luckily we can look at history to give us an indication how things typically (always?) go in a speculative market. Tulip bulbs rose and rose in value. Pork bellies likewise. Dotcom 1.0 boom and bust. Housing markets. Markets always seem to have a reversal after long periods of growth - a few people buy cheap and joe punter sees a rising market and jumps in - a brinksmanship game - who will jump first?

        Crashes waiting to happen IMHO - Gold, house prices (further when interest rates go up leading to more distressed sales), dotcom 2.0 nonsense (tw*tter, facebook, etc - apparently we learned nothing first time round).

    2. foo_bar_baz

      Like stocks during the dotcom bust

      When ordinary Joes like myself start dabbling in the stock market, you know the bubble is about to burst. A principle that can be extended to gold.

  3. Captain Underpants



    What the frell?

    I've generally been positive about Westfield in that it's a reasonably pleasant shopping centre experience (or about as close to one as you can expect to get, given the constraints of commercial activity) but a gold-dispensing machine seems a bit...I dunno, completely fucking useless compared to most things they have there....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    um....what's the point?

    When I first saw this, I thought is may be a mobile Cash For Gold deal not the other way round. I see no reason why anyone would want to exchange 4 x £10 (which can be spent anywhere) for 1g of gold (which can't).

    Please could someone explain why?

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: um....what's the point?

      Because the value of gold has been steadily rising for years, pretty much from the moment Gordon Broon flogged of the UK reserves at the all-time low.

    2. Neil Stansbury


      Please tell me you ARE kidding?

      Why would anyone want to exchange £40 worth of worthless paper that Gordon Brown et al spent the last 10 years devaluing, in exchange for a store of value that has persisted for the last 2000 years, and whose fiat value in the last 10 years alone has risen from $252 t/oz to $1500 t/oz.

      No you're quite right - I've no idea either

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught

        ... will you realise that metal is no more edible than paper.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: "Only when the last tree ...

          "... has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught ... will you realise that metal is no more edible than paper."

          So, that will be never, then. Sure, life on Earth will end at some point in the next X million years as the Sun goes through its inevitable cycle towards a white dwarf, but the last fish/tree will die as a result of loss of habitat as the oceans boil and the air becomes unbreathable, not because it was caught.

          When fish/trees become as easy to store without inevitable degradation, then I'll consider them a better option than gold (or similar stable substance), and not before.

      2. Heff

        so let me get this straight

        you're valuing your non-fiat currency alternative in fiat currency?

        If you're going to advocate from the diversion of equity to a non-fiat source, then you need to advocate for a source with more intrinic, barterable worth. Gold is just another fiat currency, its just backed by your lizard brain going OOH SHINY. You cant eat it, you cant forge it into anything useful cos its too fucking soft. you cant make clothes out if it.

        Gold is the epitomy of the tinkerbell effect.

      3. Mark 65


        Primarily I guess because the price of gold is massively over-inflated and destined to collapse at some point.

      4. AlexV

        OK, so that might be why you'd want to invest in gold, but you want the *actual physical gold* too?

        I can understand why you might want to keep savings in gold rather than sterling. I can even appreciate the reasoning that now is the right time to make that investment.

        I find it a bit more of a stretch to believe that the best way to do so is to buy small pieces of actual gold and, what, hide them under the mattress? When you need the cash, send them to Cash for Gold or similar? Gold would have to go up in value quite a bit for that not to be a loss.

        Unless you're convinced of an impending financial apocalypse, if you want to invest in gold, invest in a gold-backed financial instrument (ETFs, ETNs, etc.), and not in a novelty gold souvenir dispenser.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Gold as an investment

          Gold is in a speculative bubble fuelled by paranoid libertarian types. Buying now as an investment is pretty stupid, wait for the bubble to burst. Besides if you have to buy there are cheaper ways than through a vending machines. The vending machine will invariably slap a large margin on the price of gold which adds to your burden when trying to make a profit.

          If you're going to use the machine do it for the right reasons - because it's a gimmick that buys you a shiny collectable lump of metal with some intrinsic worth even if that worth is likely go down before it goes up.

        2. jonathanb Silver badge

          Can I explain why

          I don't think now is the best time to invest in gold, but if I were to invest in gold, I would by sovereigns, kruggerands or similar from a dealer that offers a much better rate than this machine, not a gold ETF.

          The reason is that gold ETF funds generally don't hold that much, if any, gold. Your investment is generally a bet placed on the price of gold rising, and laid off by the fund against someone else betting on the price of gold falling. That means there is counterparty risk if the person betting against you is unable to pay up. We saw a lot of that when Lehman Brothers went bust.

        3. Alfred

          Hell yes

          If you buy gold, it's a hedge against the spending power of your local currency dropping. In the event of serious financial disasters, it's one of the safest investments to have. There is, however, less physical gold in storage than the sum of people's certificates declaring that they own that gold. Furthermore, it's not unknown for governments in dire straits to simply make new laws about gold, screwing over the gold holders - all, that is, except those who have physical possession of the gold they own. So yes, given that owning gold is a hedge against financial upsets, hold the stuff in your own hands.

        4. stucs201

          Re: OOH SHINEY

          >You cant eat it, you cant forge it into anything useful cos its too fucking soft.

          >you cant make clothes out if it.

          Depends on your definition of useful. I believe it makes pretty good (if expensive) radiation shielding.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Stucs 201

            Fuck that, the useful thing about gold is that I can exchange it for goods and / or services - which seems pretty useful to me, in the grand scale of things.

          2. Sooty

            re: ooh Shiny

            "You cant eat it, you cant forge it into anything useful cos its too fucking soft."

            You may not be able to forge it into anything that needs to rely on hardness, but that doesn't mean it's useless. It has a few handy electrical properties, which are much more useful nowadays. It's no good for making a hammer, but pretty handy in a mobile phone's circuitry.

            Electronic kit tends to contain more gold, weight for weight, than raw gold ore! People who can reclaim gold from old electronics can make a fortune!

        5. JEDIDIAH

          Hiding your gold...

          Hiding your gold really doesn't really take much. Gold is something that goes for hundreds of dollars/pounds for a single OUNCE. You can have a volume of coins equal to the spare change in your pocket being worth the total life savings of a lot of people.

          You can buy a rather respectable car for what a pound of gold is worth.

          Metal coinage does include a premium however. Might not matter so much over the long term though.

          Since Gold is a real thing, you don't have to entrust it to anyone else. You don't have to trust that the same financial institutions that have been running amok lately will properly look after your stuff.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton


        Anyone buying their gold for that reason would not use an overpriced vending machine.

        No, this is there to catch the 'fleeing the country' market or the "You would buy me some gold if you loved me Ricky" opportunistic sale as Ricky and Chardonnay walk by.

        Paris and Chardonnay are best friends.

    3. Joe Cooper
      Thumb Up

      It's quite clear why

      Smart people who own gold decided they should quickly get rid of it in exchange for cash, so they made these machines to speed the process.

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Well... You can buy a coin with a Kangaroo on it.

      Which makes about as much sense as anything else.

  5. Chris Miller


    Gold is currently at ~£28/g. Now, I can justify a 40% (£12) markup on a 1g bar (is that even visible to the naked eye?), but a £3k markup on a 250g sounds a tad greedy. You'd have to be pretty dim to use this ... oh wait, it's at Westfield - says it all.

    1. David Gosnell

      Targeting idiots

      No doubt targeting idiots, who having just bought at 40% mark-up, will flog it at Cash4Gold or other scammy pseudo-jeweller of choice at an even more thumping mark-down...

  6. Darkwolf


    ...they need to reverse it and allow you to put in gold and get cash.

    Oh wait, with updating every 10mins, someone would stay standing at the machine:

    1. gold drops below a certain amount, buy more gold.

    2. gold goes up a bit, deposit it for money.

    Follow throughout an 8 hour day for a week or two.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      You're forgetting the spread

      Even assuming a machine could be trusted to identify gold without human assistance you forget the buy and sell rate is likely to be separate by 4-5% margin + commission. Try the same trick with exchange rates and see how far it gets you.

    2. Russ Williams


      Yeah, and like any intraday trader in a retail market, you'll get utterly destroyed on the spreads.

      Just because prices are tracking the market doesn't mean they're good! £40 for 1g implies an offer price of near enough $2000/toz, and a postal gold buyer just quoted me £15.03 for 1g implying a $750/toz bid price. So yeah, good luck making a profit on that.

      You can get a bid-offer spread of less than 10% in Hatton Garden, but even that is like trying to be a currency speculator using the Bureau de Change.

  7. Pirate Dave

    gotta wonder

    how many 250g bars do they keep in that machine? And with that much gold available, how do they keep the machine from disappearing? I mean, an ATM full of $100 bills is one thing, but a machine full of gold is quite another and would be worth carjacking a large wrecker truck to barge in and steal the machine.

    That'd be my Pirate blood speaking...

  8. TonyHoyle

    I'll give it a week

    If there's a 10+ grands worth of gold in there I'll give it a week before someone has a go at taking the lot.

    That's a *lot* of incentive.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Gold is currently at ~£28/g

    Gold is currently at ~£28/g - I wish - it's a shade under £30/g

  10. Anonymous Coward


    "No gold is at an all time high its most likely path is downwards."

    On what do you base that - you mean it will not go any further up - ever? The reasons for it going up are still there...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And a mere five minutes away at the White City Estate

    you can exchange that same gold for some physical violence

  12. John Savard Silver badge


    One would think that if one wanted to purchase a gold bar, one could make the effort to go to a place that sold such a specialized item.

    Cash machines have a definite purpose - one can withdraw a certain amount of cash from one's bank account with one low transaction fee, and then make multiple purchases from that amount of cash.

    But stores don't normally accept gold for purchases. I suppose that one could rush to such a machine, and empty out one's bank account, if civilization were to collapse, but that wouldn't make them any profit...

  13. Spanners Silver badge

    @Fred Flintstone

    "gold is at an all time high"

    Don't bet on it. The more unstable the large financial institutions make it, the more that gold is likely to go up. What are less poor people going to put their savings into then?

    Government bonds? These will be depreciated once lots of people have put their life savings in. To support another banking "crisis" or perhaps a friendly government in difficulties. Perhaps just because the USA needs us to.

    The bank? We have seen how well that works.

    Property. Have you tried to sell anything for what it is supposed to be worth recently?

    Stocks and shares? It may be a good time to buy. It certainly is not a good time to sell and that seems set to continue.

    Saving schemes, ISAs and other clever gadgets. See above.

    Gold has been the ultimate value storage for thousands of years. Why should it change now?


      Real Estate

      > Property. Have you tried to sell anything for what it is supposed to be worth recently?

      You don't sell it. You collect the rents.

      Need tenants able to pay though...

      Land and gold can both be held onto for as long as you like. At least land can generate passive income.

  14. JeevesMkII

    Crime Machine

    Isn't this more or less custom designed for criminals? Steal a debit card, drain the account before the crime can be reported, dump the card and get away with a few grams of untraceable gold.

  15. Bill Cumming

    When I win the Euro Millions...

    I'm gonna empty that thing out...

    Just got the heck of it... ^_^

    Mines the one with the bulging pockets full of gold bars....

  16. Richard 33

    I don't understand it

    How many bitcoins is £40?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Rip-off or bling.

    I can buy and pay for storage of investment grade Gold for a fraction over spot (and have already plenty), so see this machine as one for suckers or bling purchasers.

    Gold will go up a lot, so customers of this machines may end up breaking even or making a profit, just a lot less than me.

    Personally I prefer Silver, because despite the huge recent price drop, I'm still more in the money than from Gold.

    1. Danny 14


      Do you give racing tips too?

      Sure fire wins only please.

  18. Clive Galway

    Laundry machine

    Put in fake / stolen money and get out untraceable, compact gold. Genius!

  19. Cunningly Linguistic

    If it doesn't dispense...

    ...Picnic bars then I'm just not interested!

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Price of gold is based on ...

    people trading bits of paper that say that they own some gold somewhere. Sounds familiar? The UK pound used to be backed by real gold. All it takes is for someone to do the sums: sum paper claims to gold > sum of real gold = interesting.

  21. Lonesome Twin

    Pedantry Please

    On a journo-critic-got-nothing-better-to-do note, it takes a certain stretch of the imagination to describe 1g of gold a 'bar'. Even the super-sized 250g wouldn't be much more than a big coin, as per the articles piccie

  22. b166er

    So that's what

    all the cash 4 gold stalls are for, to buy up all the naff gold from chavs and then sell it back to chavs as naff 'bricks'

    I was wondering what would happen if everyone sold their gold. If they did, maybe I COULD then ask the bank to 'pay the bearer'

    When the revolution comes, I suppose you could fashion a club out of gold to protect your crops.

  23. Adrian Esdaile

    did anyone notice?

    ...that the pic shows Australian coins in the machine?

    I have no idea about civilized nations, but here in Australia ATMs are very frequent targets for ram-raids with bulldozers. Last year in Sydney there were about 2 a week (with police in the dark - they couldn't track ATMs stolen by bulldozer?)

    Some say it is because of the ready availability of explosive charges due to our extensive dig-the-country-up-and-sell-it, er, mining operations; others say it was the banks themselves during the GFC, as a giant insurance scam. Either way, a gold-dispensing ATM would be a juicy target down here, especially with the sudden massive rise in "exchange that gold you 'inherited' for CASH!" booths in just about every shopping centre...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coming up next

    An ATM for buying dotcom companies.

  25. Southern
    Thumb Up


    "You would buy me some gold if you loved me Ricky"

    Priceless. Bianca would never have it so good.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Proof that it is gold? Once it has left the system the "good delivery" system it is automatically suspect and the value drops to anyone who knows what they are doing.

  27. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    This is obviously to service

    electronic engineers who suddenly realise they need to gold-plate some contacts, while they are out shopping for the weekly groceries...

  28. Christian Berger

    It's all just bubbles

    Gold has just as little intrinsic value to the average person as money has. As a normal person you cannot actually do anything with gold.

    If you want to do long term investments, invest in things that actually have long term value. Like education, railway lines or fiber optic cables. (But not passive optical distribution networks.) Those things will still be useful in the future. Just look around and find out what investments in the past you still find useful today. Those are the things that are worth investing in in the long run.

  29. Sadako


    I could buy some ATI cards for mining bitcoins and get a better return.

  30. stucs201

    this is apparently required

    Could be useful in the event of a cybermen invasion I suppose.

    (Mines the one with the sonic screwdriver and bag of jelly-babies in the pocket).

  31. A J Stiles

    Serves them right

    Gold might be appreciating in value *at the moment*, but prices that go up are going to come down eventually. And when this happens, it will serve them right.

    If you were going to tie a currency to a commodity, surely the obvious choice would be energy?

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